Rookie Aaron Judge couldn’t do anything wrong at the plate in the first half of the season. Some said that it was the best first half by a rookie in MLB history, but the second half of the season has been a disaster for Judge. He has lost his touch and looks completely out of sync at the plate.
Judge ended the first half with a .329 batting average, 30 home runs, 66 RBI, .448 on-base percentage, 1.139 OPS, 61 walks, and 109 strikeouts in 301 at-bats (84 games).
The 25-year-old’s post All-Star numbers are the following: .169 average, .329 OBP, .355 slugging percentage, .684 OPS, 14 RBI, 7 home runs, 29 walks, and 58 strikeouts in 124 at-bats (35 games).
During his slump, Judge has struck out in 37 consecutive games (an MLB record).
After going 1 for 16 in the past four games, Yankees manager Joe Girardi was asked about moving Judge out of the No. 3 spot in the lineup,
“Could I move him a spot or two?” he asked. “Yeah, but he’s still going to come up in big spots, I can tell you that. I have not gotten to that point yet. I’ve been saying I thought he made some adjustments, and having better at-bats… I’ll have to look at it more closely. But we’ve been seeing some good pitching, too. He’s going to have his ups and downs like everybody else. I think he’s due for a good streak. And when he does, it’s really going to help.”
Girardi seems to want to give the right fielder every opportunity to break out of his slump, but at some point, he must make a change to his lineup. Moving Judge could take some of the pressure off of the rookie and get him back on track.
“Yeah, I’m not getting the job done,” said Judge. “You want to be there. I’m the No. 3 hitter — I’ve gotta be that guy for the team. We talk about passing the baton (taking walks), and I trust the guys behind me, but as the No. 3 hitter I want to be the guy with runners on every single time.
“So it’s disappointing, but there’s nothing you can do about it. You can’t pout. You can’t cry. You keep working, and you move on.”
Despite his struggles, the team overall is only five-games behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East division and holds one of the two wild card spots.
The Yankees are 6-4 in their last ten games, even though they lost their recent series to the Red Sox.
They play the Detroit Tigers on August 22. Maybe the lineup will look a little different as the Yankees try to keep pace with their longtime rivals and make a run towards the post-season.
Hopefully, the right fielder can get back on track against the Tigers.
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